Friday, December 2, 2011

Featured Artist

Susan Spohn
Susan paints in oils and is a colorist who is also interested in the thick textures obtained using a pallet knife. A Colorado artist, Susan presently resides in the small town of Salida, Colorado, located in the Arkansas Valley surrounded by mountains and valleys, rivers, forests, lakes, and tourists. Residing in an old brick building in the historic district, she has a small, porch-like enclosed studio on the second floor, overlooking the back alleys near downtown.
What interests you about painting animals?
I mainly do not paint animals... only in this small format as part of my daily painting routine, and now, I also do pet portraits in this 7 x7 format. (and I am now taking orders for the Christmas gift time) I really like animals. I think they are all beautiful. I never know 'how' I am going to paint them. I just start painting and they sort of paint themselves, with only a few complications that I need to solve along the way. I do not use black or any earth tone paint on my pallet. I mix all of these colors. This keeps my colors more vibrant, and at the same time creates more mixing work for me! As an example, a cat I painted, was painted entirely using sap green, and sap green mixed with other colors. The finished cat painting looked creamy with a touch of orange; just as the original photo suggested.

Are there particular artists who influence your work?
When I am participating at an art show with my other paintings (florals, treescapes), most folks see a strong influence post-impressionistic painters in my style; especially, Vincent Van Gogh It always amazes me, since I do not consciously study Van Gogh or think about his painting style when I paint. I feel I am an emotional painter, letting my instincts control the paintings more than a photo reference or perhaps rules of the art world. I appreciate all painters with a looser painting style. And my pet portraits and animal paintings are about as 'tight' as I get in my painting style, my other paintings are much looser.

Are there new themes or mediums you anticipate exploring in your upcoming work?
I am now working on some oil and mixed media pieces in a more abstract style. I can envision a series of these in the future. In addition, I see my floral pieces becoming even looser and more abstract. I will continue painting my small animal and pet portraits; they are a wonderful creative exercise and I never know how they will turn out.

Many thanks to Susan for sharing her lovely paintings!

What do you think of Susan's work?
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